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- Pachistopelma rufonigrum Pocock 1901:548; Mello-Leitão 1923:337; Roewer 1942:256; Platnick 2012.
- Pachystopelma rufonigrum: Simon 1903:959; Petrunkevitch 1911:82.
- Avicularia pulchra Mello-Leitão 1933:171, f. 33. syn. n.
- Avicularia recifiensis Struchen and Brändle 1996:2, f 1–4. syn. n.
Males and females differ from Pachistopelma bromelicola sp. n. by the slender metatarsi IV without stiff bristles (Fig. 67) and legs pinkish with black tarsi (Figs 43–45).
Lectotype (herein designated) a dissected adult female and 8 paralectotypes (herein designated), comprising 4 females, 2 males and 2 immatures fom Iguarassu, Brazil, G. A. Ramage, BMNH 1888.47, examined.
Additional material examined
BRAZIL: Rio Grande do Norte: Baia Formosa [6°22'S, 35°00'W], inside bromeliads, 1 female, 8 immatures, A. L. Castro, 29 January 1964 (MNRJ 12922); Natal, road to Zumbi [5°42'S, 35°16'W], 1 female, 3 immatures, M. Aranha, M. Uvana, M. C. B. Pereira, H. R. Silva, 1 February 1989 (MNRJ 13750); Paraíba: Alhandra [7°26'S, 34°54'W], inside bromeliads, 1 female, 44 immatures, Exp. ABC MZUSP, 8 May 1971 (MZSP 10839); same data, 1 female, 2 immatures (MZSP 28579); Igarassú [7°50'S, 34°54'W], 2 females, 4 immatures, Vanzolini, 7 June 1963 (MZSP 10862); Mamanguape, Reserva Biológica de Mamanguape [6°47'S, 34°59'W], inside bromeliads, 1 male, 2 females, Cascone and Alonso, 31 October 1982 (IBSP 9756); same data, 4 immatures (IBSP 14276); Pernambuco: Agrestina, Serra da Quitéria [8°27'S, 35°56'W], inside bromeliads, 1 female, 2 immatures, Exp. ABC MZUSP, 15 May 1971 (MZSP 28580); Rio Formoso, Estação Ecológica de Saltinho [8°43'S, 35°10'W], 1 immature, 12 May 1969 (IBSP 3986B); Alagoas: Murici, Estação Ecológica de Murici, Triunfo (9°14'9.52"S, 35°48'0.25"W), 245 m.a.s.l., inside bromeliads, 3 immatures, R. Bertani, R. H. Nagahama, D. R. M Ortega, 11 August 2006 (MNRJ 06244); same data, 5 immatures, 2 males, 1 female, 12 August 2006 (MNRJ 06245); same data, 6 immatures, 1 male, 5 females, 13 August 2006 (MNRJ 06246); Jitituba (9°14'9.52"S, 35°48'0.25"W), 295 m.a.s.l., inside bromeliads, 2 males, 3 females, R. Bertani, R. H. Nagahama, D. R. M Ortega, 14 August 2006 (MNRJ 06247); Fazenda Santa Fé (9°26'1.83"S, 35°50'3.93"W), 362 m.a.s.l., inside bromeliads, 1 male, 2 females, R. Bertani, R. H. Nagahama, D. R. M. Ortega, 15 August 2006 (MNRJ 06248); Passo do Camaragibe, Fazenda Santa Justina [9°14'S, 35°29'W], 2 females, 1 immature, H. R. Silva and C. A. Caetano, 13–18 January 1988 (MNRJ 1781).
Female (MNRJ 06246, Al 1110) from Brazil, state of Alagoas, Murici, Estação Ecológica de Murici. Carapace 15.1 long, 13.3 wide, chelicerae 7.3. Legs (femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, tarsus, total): I: 9.7, 6.6, 7.3, 6.8, 4.1, 34.5. II: 9.2, 6.3, 6.8, 6.5, 3.9, 32.7. III: 8.8, 5.5, 6.3, 6.8, 4.0, 31.4. IV: 11.0, 6.1, 9.1, 9.7, 4.3, 40.2. Palp: 7.3, 4.7, 4.8, –, 5.1, 21.9. Mid-widths (lateral): femora I–IV=2.8, 2.8, 3.0, 3.1, palp=2.4; patellae I–IV=2.7, 2.8, 2.8, 2.9, palp=2.4; tibiae I–IV=2.4, 2.5, 2.4, 2.8, palp=2.3; metatarsi I–IV=1.9, 1.9, 1.8, 1.7; tarsi I–IV=1.8, 1.8, 1.7, 1.9, palp=2.0. Abdomen 14.5 long, 12.0 wide. Spinnerets: PMS, 1.8 long, 0.7 wide, 0.3 apart; PLS, 2.7 basal, 2.1 middle, 2.6 distal; mid-widths (lateral), 1.6, 1.3, 0.8, respectively. Carapace: length to width 1.13; Fovea 1.6 wide. Eyes: tubercle 0.3 high, 1.7 long, 2.6 wide. Anterior eye row straight, posterior slightly recurved. Eye sizes and inter-distances: AME 0.6, ALE 0.6, PME 0.3, PLE 0.5, AME–AME 0.4, AME–ALE 0.3, AME–PME 0.3, ALE–ALE 1.7, ALE–PME 0.3, PME–PME 1.3, PME–PLE 0.2, PLE–PLE 1.8, ALE–PLE 0.3, AME–PLE 0.5. Ratio of eye group width to length 2.2. Maxillae: length to width: 1.7. Cuspules: 150–200 spread over ventral inner heel. Labium: 1.8 long, 2.7 wide, with 100–120 cuspules spaced by one diameter from each other on the anterior third. Labio-sternal groove shallow, flat, sigilla not evident. Chelicerae: basal segments with ten teeth decreasing in size from distal to basal portion. Sternum: 7.4 long, 6.2 wide. Sigilla: three pairs, ellipsoid, less than one diameter from margin. Scopula: tarsi I–IV fully scopulate, IV divided by five wide row of setae. Metatarsi I 3/4 scopulate; II 2/3 scopulate; III 1/2, IV 1/3 distal scopulate. IV divided by three wide row of setae. Urticating hair absent. Genitalia: paired long, uniform, weakly sclerotized spermathecae with a slight curvature medially (Fig. 32). Color pattern: carapace and chelicerae brown, covered with golden hairs intermixed with metallic pinkish hairs. Legs and palps dark brown, covered with dark hairs having metallic green/blue iridescence. Coxae, labium, maxilla and sternum black. Longitudinal stripes on dorsum of femora, patellae, tibiae and metatarsi narrow, whitish. Distal femora, patellae, tibiae and metatarsi rings absent. Abdomen dorsum black with long reddish hairs mainly on lateral and posterior regions. Abdomen ventrally black (Fig. 44).
Male (MNRJ 06245, Al 1100) fromBrazil, state of Alagoas, Murici, Estação Ecológica de Murici. Carapace 12.7 long, 11.4 wide, chelicerae 5.6. Legs (femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, tarsus, total): I: 9.8, 5.5, 7.5, 7.8, 4.8, 35.4. II: 9.3, 5.6, 7.2, 7.2, 4.0, 33.3. III: 8.6, 4.6, 6.5, 7.3, 3.9, 30.9. IV: 10.4, 5.5, 9.1, 10.4, 3.9, 39.3. Palp: 6.8, 4.1, 5.3, –, 1.8, 18.0. Mid-widths (lateral): femora I–IV=2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 2.8, palp=1.8; patellae I–IV=2.3, 2.2, 2.3, 2.3, palp=1.7; tibiae I–IV=1.8, 1.9, 1.9, 2.1, palp=1.6; metatarsi I–IV=1.1, 1.1, 1.3, 1.1; tarsi I–IV=1.2, 1., 1.2, 1.3, palp=1.5. Abdomen 13.9 long, 9.2 wide. Spinnerets: PMS, 1.2 long, 0.5 wide, 0.4 apart; PLS, 2.1 basal, 1.4 middle, 2.0 distal; mid-widths (lateral), 1.0, 0.9, 0.6, respectively. Carapace: length to width 1.11; Fovea: 0.9 wide. Eyes: tubercle 0.4 high, 1.7 long, 2.3 wide. Anterior eye row slightly procurved, posterior slightly recurved. Eye sizes and inter-distances: AME 0.4, ALE 0.6, PME 0.3, PLE 0.4, AME–AME 0.4, AME–ALE 0.3, AME–PME 0.2, ALE–ALE 1.6, ALE–PME 0.5, PME–PME 1.1, PME–PLE 0.1, PLE–PLE 1.5, ALE–PLE 0.3, AME–PLE 0.5. Ratio of eye group width to length 1.9. Other characters as in female, except: labium: 1.5 long, 2.0 wide, with ca. 80 cuspules spaced by one diameter from each other on the anterior third center. Chelicerae: basal segments with nine teeth decreasing in size from distal to basal portion. Sternum: 6.0 long, 4.9 wide. Sigilla: three pairs, small, rounded, first and last pairs 1.5 diameter from margin, second less than half diameter from margin. Scopula: metatarsi I–II 4/5 scopulate; III 1/3 distal scopulate; IV 1/4 distal scopulate. IV divided by five wide row of setae. Tibial spur 0.7 high, 1.3 wide; with numerous spiniform setae on the tip (Fig. 33). Metatarsus I straight. Urticating hairs type II (0.51 to 0.58 long, 0.012 wide) on the abdomen dorsum. Palp: embolus 3.4 long, with a 45° curvature to the retrolateral side. Embolus basal, middle and distal width of 0.3, 0.2 and 0.04, respectively. Tegulum 1.0 long, 1.7 wide (Figs 29–31). Cymbium: two subequal lobes, the prolateral one triangular in shape. Spiniform process 0.5 long, 0.6 wide on the apex. Color pattern: carapace, chelicerae, legs and palps dark brown, covered with dense layer of pinkish hairs and longer hairs of the same color. Tarsi black, metatarsi dorsum with black stripe. Coxae and sternum dark brown with pinkish hairs. Labium and maxillae dark brown. Longitudinal stripes on dorsum of femora, patellae, tibiae and metatarsi discrete, light brown. Abdomen dorsum orange with long reddish hairs. Abdomen ventrally orange with a greyish area on its center (Fig. 45).
Females and immatures have a very low cephalic region, when compared to the males, and the abdomen is dorso-ventrally flattened in the former (Fig. 34). The eye tubercle is very low in females (Fig. 36) and immatures, and the first ocular row is straight (Fig. 37). Males possess a more developed eye tubercle and the anterior ocular row is slightly procurved. Immatures and adult males have type II urticating hairs on abdomen dorsum, which becomes lost in adult females.
A typical Pachistopelma rufonigrum spermatheca is weakly sclerotized, long, tapering distally, without constrictions or lobes, and slightly curved inwards (Figs 32, 59). Nevertheless, shorter (Figs 58, 60) spermathecae are not rare, as well as broader ones (Fig. 60). Most are sligthly curved inwards (Figs 32, 59) whereas a fraction are curved outwards (Fig. 58).
Brazil, from state of Rio Grande do Norte southwards to state of Alagoas, mainly in coastal region (Fig. 68).
All specimens with recorded field data indicate Pachistopelma rufonigrum individuals were found inside bromeliads (Bertani et al. 1994; Santos et al. 2002, 2004; this work). Field observations suggest a strict dependency on bromeliads (Santos et al. 2004), both in restinga vegetation and in restinga associated with Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. Of these, bromeliads occurring in Atlantic rainforest areas had a low occupancy rate by Pachistopelma rufonigrum individuals than those bromeliads in xerophylous environments (Santos et al. 2004). In Estação Ecologica Murici, Murici, state of Alagoas, Brazil, I observed several individuals exclusively inside tank bromeliads. These were 245-362 m a.s.l. in rocky outcrops marginated by Brazilian Atlantic forest. Bromeliads in this area form large patches in rocky outcrops where the soil is shallow and sunlight intense. The margin of these patches overlap with shaded areas contiguous with the forest, and, in agreement with Santos et al. 2004, specimens were found mainly in bromeliads more exposed to sunlight. The “bromeliad islands” in rocky outcrops are hundreds or thousands of meters apart, and no Pachistopelma rufonigrum specimens were found outside of bromeliads. Thus, these populations are probably isolated. The species is abundant, ca. 30 specimens were collected, and others were observed but not collected. Individuals in all developmental stages were observed during this the period (August 2006). In agreement with Santos et al. 2004, spiders were observed diving into the phytotelma water, staying there for several minutes, when disturbed.
Color pattern ontogeny
Juveniles are almost completely metallic green, except for a pattern on dorsum of abdomen comprising a central longitudinal black stripe connected with five lateral black stripes (Fig. 40). In larger individuals carapace border and dorsum of chelicerae, coxae and trochantera are light brown. Dorsum of abdomen is light brown with a reddish area posteriorly. The black stripes remain (Fig. 41). In a next stage carapace is completely pink, as well as dorsum of coxae, trochantera and most femora. Remaining parts of legs retain the metalic-green. The clear part of abdomen is now of a vivid red, and the black stripes remain (Fig. 42). Subadults have carapace and legs brown with sparse pinkish long hairs. Dorsum of abdomen is still reddish, but the black stripes begin to fade (Fig. 43). Adult female is completely brown with long pinkish setae on legs, carapace and chelicerae. Abdominal pattern is lacking or very inconspicuous (Fig. 44). Adult male carapace, chelicerae and legs are brown and covered by pinkish setae, except for the tarsi and a stripe on metatarsi that are black. Abdomen is a vivid orange/red, there is no vestige of any pattern (Fig. 45).
Avicularia pulchra Mello-Leitão, 1933, holotype from Brazil, Pernambuco, D. Bento Pickel (MNRJ 29180), examined, is an immature specimen with a low eye tubercle, almost straight anterior row of eyes, abdomen flattened dorso-ventrally, and typical abdominal pattern, all characteristics of Pachistopelma. The color pattern and geographical distribution are consistent with Pachistopelma rufonigrum. Therefore, Avicularia pulchra Mello-Leitão, 1933 is transferred to Pachistopelma and considered a junior-synonym of Pachistopelma rufonigrum Pocock, 1901, syn. n.
Avicularia recifiensis Struchen & Brändle, 1996, holotype female (SMF 39873) and paratype male (SMF 39872), from Brazil, Recife, Martin Weber, 1993 according to original description. Specimen labels indicate holotype male and paratype female contrary to paper. The holotype female, examined, has a very low eye tubercle, straight anterior eye row, dorso-ventrally flattened abdomen, and spermathecae, though dissected, was not in the vial. Paratype male has a poorly developed tibial spur typical of the species (contrary to description that states it lacks a tibial spur), a spiniform process between cymbium lobes, and a sligthly procurved anterior eye row. All characters of both male and female agree with those of Pachistopelma, and color pattern and geographical distribution agree with Pachistopelma rufonigrum. Therefore, Avicularia recifiensis Struchen & Brändle, 1996 is transferred to Pachistopelma and considered a junior-synonym of Pachistopelma rufonigrum Pocock, 1901, syn. n.
- Bertani, R; 2012: Revision, cladistic analysis and biogeography of Typhochlaena C. L. Koch, 1850, Pachistopelma Pocock, 1901 and Iridopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Aviculariinae) ZooKeys, 230: 1-94. doi
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- Roewer C (1942) Katalog der Araneae von 1758 bis 1940. Bremen, 1: 1-1040.
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- Petrunkevitch A (1911) A synonymic index-catalogue of spiders of North, Central and South America with all adjacent islands, Greenland, Bermuda, West Indies, Terra del Fuego, Galapagos, etc. Bulletin of American Museum of Natural History 29: 1–791. http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/handle/2246/1135 doi: 10.5962/bhl.title.23819
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- Santos R, Almeida M, Nunes J (2002) Notes on the association of Pachistopelma rufonigrum Pocock, 1901 (Theraphosidae) with phytotelm bromeliads in eastern Rio Grande do Norte State, NE-Brazil. Journal of the Bromeliad Society 52: 122-124.
- Santos R, Almeida M, Tinoco L, Martins L, Maia M (2004) Biogeography and conservation of the bromeliad tarantula Pachistopelma rufonigrum (Araneae, Theraphosidae) in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Journal of the Bromeliad Society 54: 153-157.